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Trouble Along the Way (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 4 April 1953 (USA)
3:05 | Trailer

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Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying ... See full summary »


Michael Curtiz


Melville Shavelson (screenplay), Jack Rose (screenplay) | 2 more credits »



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Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Steve Aloysius Williams
Donna Reed ... Alice Singleton
Charles Coburn ... Father Burke
Tom Tully ... Father Malone
Sherry Jackson ... Carol Williams
Marie Windsor ... Anne Williams McCormick
Tom Helmore ... Harold McCormick
Dabbs Greer ... Father Peterson
Leif Erickson ... Father Provincial aka Ed
Douglas Spencer ... Father Procurator aka George
Lester Matthews ... Cardinal William Patrick O'Shea
Chuck Connors ... Stan Schwegler


Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying to bring back to football respectability. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wild, Wayne and Wonderful All The Way! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

4 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alma Mater See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The external scenes at the college were shot at Pomona College. The building where John Wayne calls to Donna Reed at he end of the film is the Hall of Music at Pomona. See more »


Camera shadow crosses Anne and Harold on couch just before Steve enters room and catches them in clinch. See more »


Father Burke: You'll find the answer in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 15.
[the other priests look at one another]
Father Burke: Well, well? Is there a Bible in the house, or do you have to go to a hotel?
See more »


Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »


The Notre Dame Victory March
Music by Michael J. Shea
Played when Father Burke is taking down old yearbooks
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie will blow you away!
20 February 2008 | by kevin-1812See all my reviews

Picture a "Cary Grant" style script but take it from the French Riviera and put it in urban New York! The "Grant" staple of high intrigue, beautiful scenery, and opulent subject matter is replaced with dirty streets, pool parlors, and a crooked football team but the dialogue and pacing are still there. Now throw in John Wayne is the seedy football coach who has been thrown out of the "legitamate" football leagues, Charles Coburn is the desperate head priest of a failing college, and Donna Reed is a tunnel visioned "do-gooder" cop. Reed wants to protect Wayne's daughter Sherry Jackson from his unhealthy influence and is sympathetic to Marie Windsor's (ex-wife from hell) claim that her daughter (Jackson) needs to be with her (even though she had abandoned Jackson as an infant when she ran off with another man). Wayne feels he's done nothing wrong but sees that antagonizing Reed is a mistake and takes the job of head coach at Coburn's St. Anthony's college as "cover" to clean up his image. Wayne realizes that if he wheels and deals under the table he can achieve Coburn's goal of making St. Anthony's a winning team and make a fortune for himself and his cohorts (including Chuck Conners in an early role). Wayne pulls in favors, blackmails everyone who doesn't play along, and deceives his benefactors to get a major schedule and almost succeeds. The conclusion of the film is thoroughly satisfying with Richard Garrick as the judge presiding over the case. Wayne takes over in true streetwise "Grant" style and is hilarious to the point that Reed asks the judge "Can I get a word in?" and Garrick resigns himself to say, "Ask him, I lost control of this trial a long time ago". The opposing attorney makes the comment "I could have been trying a murder case this week" and Garrick says, "Hang in there, you might still be". When Reed is asked by the opposing attorney if she loves Wayne, Wayne jumps up and tells the judge, "Remind the witness she's under oath!" Charles Coburn makes a wonderful speech at the end and reminds us of how good an actor he was. This is not John Ford's movie, this is Michael Curtiz' movie and it makes me wonder how much more Wayne had to offer in this genre (we would get a hint of it in "McLintock" and "North to Alaska"). The supporting cast is superb with the likes of Tom Tully and Dabbs Greer. Everyone does a great job and I place this at the top of my John Wayne list of films. Don't miss it.

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